Hello. My name is Carlos.
Of course you are welcome to share my table.
Carlos looks up from the olive-green brim
of his felt cowboy hat. His eyes are faint blue,
almost white in the light--sun on the sea
bouncing hand to hand in the waves.
My son, Carlos says, went to school to study the ocean,
dropped out at the last minute, became a paralegal,
then took a trip to the Inyo Valley
and came home depressed.
Carlos takes his hand off the table
to rest on his olive green pants
which contract around his knee,
small and delicate.
My son is 40, he says, How old are you?
In the shade of his hat,
in his olive green uniform,
something on a tree
which may be familiar, shape, growing,
it may not be.
When I was in the Navy, we would listen to a song on the radio.
We couldn’t understand it. There were Japanese lyrics
over a Chinese melody that sounded like, “She ain’t got no yo-yo.”
At the ports, we would fool around with the girls
like sailors did in those days. Carlos turns his head
away from the window so he can’t see
the pink vine spread over the rough tips of the fence,
curling up and down, a yo-yo on the wind
drops petals into the laps of strangers.